~ Pete Rosos, Everything’s Ruined
Pete’s absolutely right here. It is fascinating how much effort and expense I’m willing to go through in order to visit some ruined place. Pete’s point is that there are plenty of ruined and broken things in our own backyards to visit and photograph, and he explores that with a great series of B&W photographs, proving broken is beautiful. Ruined is remarkable. Even in his own backyard.
On the other hand, unless you live high in the Andes, Machu Picchu is definitely not in your backyard. It’s certainly not in mine, and I will, someday, expend an enormous amount of energy and dollars to get there.
Here’s what I wrote to Peter, lightly edited:
What’s also attractive about them — for me — are the stories they tell, stories about how they came to be broken, dispossessed of their utility, how they became forgotten, abandoned, are growing ever more dilapidated.
But what I love about them most is the gestures of grandeur or utility they once were, the stories of their use, of their place in a time and society which no longer exists. I love them for the markers of history they are, here, now — in the present — how they act as transporters to another time, another place.
I take a lot of photographs of ruins, but what I see in them is not so much what rests there, in front of me, but what once was.
Once the Capitol of Siam
Taken during travels, 1995
Here is a small collection of other photos taken while pursuing my love of ruined, broken things.